The Oregon Seal Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife  
 »ODFW Home    » Fish Division   » Marine Resources   » Recreational and Commercial Shellfish   » Featured Shellfish   » Crab Oddities
About Us Fishing Hunting Viewing License/Regs Conservation Living With Wildlife Education
Commercial and recreational marine fisheries

Featured Shellfish - Crab Oddities!

Featured Shellfish January 2015

We find some pretty strange stuff:

Shellfish staff occasionally find (or is brought in) some funny things!

This "albino"Dungness crab was brought into the Charleston ODFW office in 2009, caught by the F/V Apache.

Though not true "albino's" a couple of white Dungness crab are found each year in the fishery.

oregon hairy triton
This stangely pink/purple Dungeness crab was brought into the Charleston ODFW office in 2007 Pinkish crab
This all purple Dungeness crab was brought in by the F/V Shenanegan to the Charleston ODFW office in 2009.
This bi-colored Dungness crab was also brought into the Charleston ODFW office by the F/V Shenanegan in 2009.
This bi-colored juvenile Dungeness crab was caught (and photographed) by recreational crabber Heather Mackinnon in 2011. bicolored crab
This interesting polka dotted Dungeness crab was caught and photographed near Coos Bay by Jason Schattauer in 2015. dotted crab

Juvenile red rock crab come in all sorts of colors and patterns. So this crab is actually not so weird, but certainly interesting.

This first crab is a large juvenile (~3" carapace width) and as brought into the Charleston ODFW office in 2006 by a commercial crab fishermen.

Another striking example of this was brought in to Charleston ODFW in 2016 by a commercial crab fishermen, caught in 20 fathoms.

juvenile red rock crabjuvenile red rock crab

Crabs have exoskeletons. To grow, they must "molt"(pictured directly below). This includes shedding all old hard body parts and squeezing out of their old shell with new soft shells. This process is very complicated, below are some interesting examples of imperfections.

crab molting series

This Dungeness crab was brought into ODFW in the 1990's. It is extremely rare, but these claw deformities are found by commercial crab fishermen every year.
This Dungeness crab with a malformed leg was brought into the Charleston ODFW office in 2007
This red rock crab has an extra level of protection on its claw! It was caught during ODFW red rock crab mark/ recapture studies in 2014.

This white spotted Dungeness crab was caught at Netarts bay in 2016 by Tom Wallace. It is unclear if this is natural condition or if was exposed to something such as bleach. white spotted Dungeness crab



About Us | Fishing | Hunting | Wildlife Viewing | License / Regs | Conservation | Living with Wildlife | ODFW Outdoors

ODFW Home | Driving Directions | Employee Directory | Social Media | | File Formats | Employee Webmail | ODFW License Agents

4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE   ::   Salem, OR 97302   ::    Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

Do you have a question or comment for ODFW? Contact ODFW's Public Service Representative at:
Share your opinion or comments on a Fish and Wildlife Commission issue at

   © ODFW. All rights reserved. This page was last updated: 11/14/2016 3:55 PM